Rust-proofing your car can have some serious benefits for your car, but it isn’t cheap or easy, so consider carefully whether or not the process makes sense for you. For example, if you’re one of those people who, for whatever reasons, turn over your cars once every couple of years, then this isn’t really going to be a consideration for you.
Where you drive the car is another factor to consider. The hard winters of the northern states mean road salt, making rust-proofing is more of a necessity than a choice.
In addition, if you think of your car as an investment and expect to get several hundred thousand miles out of it, rust-proofing is an important step in your car’s maintenance. In this case, you’ve really already made this choice – the only thing left is how to accomplish it.
If you car credentials fall more along the lines of ownership than mechanical prowess, give some serious consideration to having your rust-proofing done professionally. Just call your local auto body shop to get their prices – if they don’t offer the service, they’ll certainly know someone in town who does offer it.
Or, if you’re ready to do this on your own, keep in mind that although it isn’t particularly difficult, there are a few points you need to keep in mind. First, choose a good professional grade of rust-proofing fluid. There are several options out there and you’ll find a wide selection at your local auto supplier.
Next, be sure that the car is completely dry before you rust-proof – in fact, if there’s a better than average chance of rain, postpone the project for another day. Temperature is another factor – this isn’t a cold weather project. The warmer the day, the better the flow of the rust-proofing fluid and the better coverage you’ll get.
Your next step is to clean under the car. Get all the mud off the undercarriage, using a stiff wire brush to get off the big chunks. Mud won’t be as big a problem under the hood and in the trunk as it is with the undercarriage, but you still need to be sure to clean these locations too.
Next, think about where you’re going to spray. Overspray can be a mess to clean up and that has to be taken into consideration. If you’re working in a closed garage or a closed space, be sure that you have more than adequate ventilation. These are some fairly strong chemicals that you are dealing with and you want to avoid breathing them in as much as possible.
By all means, avoid bare bulbs or any source of heat or ignitions while you’re spraying. Open flames are also a giant no-no, as these solvent fumes are nearly explosive.
And remember, you’re going to have to get the fluids all under the car, so it’s best to work under a pit, if possible. If not, see that the car is safely up on blocks and keep in mind that you may have to remove the wheels to get a good coat.
Finally, go over the car as completely as possible with the rust-proofing solution. If any piece of the car is exposed to the air, give it at least one coat. By carefully following the manufacturer’s direction, you’ll keep yourself safe and significantly extend the life of your car.